Ken Jones - 'the best keeper Scunthorpe United have ever had' - dies aged 77
TRIBUTES have been paid to former Scunthorpe United goalkeeper Ken Jones, who has died aged 77.
Mr Jones played 168 games for the Iron from 1958 to 1964 and is regarded by supporters as one of the club's greatest-ever goalkeepers.
He represented Wales at under-23 level but was never capped as a full international, although he was part of Wales' 1958 World Cup squad.
Winger Martin Bakes, 75, played alongside him at United's Old Show Ground from 1959 to 1962.
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He said: "He had natural athletic ability and was very agile.
"He was a good goalkeeper and could be brilliant on his day.
"If you wanted anyone to stop a penalty, he was that sort of goalkeeper.
"He could be quite fiery but if anyone liked a laugh, it would be Ken.
"He was quite a popular player."
Among those who watched him play was Doug Parker, 65, treasurer of the Winterton Iron supporters' club.
He started attending United matches in 1955 and rates Mr Jones as the best to don the gloves in the history of the club.
Mr Parker said: "He was a character and he used to have a lot of chat with the crowd, which was unusual.
"He used to have a lot of banter if he had made a good save or if he had done something wrong, he would make hand signals.
"He was a brilliant goalkeeper. He was absolutely fantastic and in my opinion, he was the best we have ever had.
"He played in the halcyon days of Scunthorpe United in the second division and he was playing against Liverpool and teams like that.
"The 1961-62 season was our best ever and he was a brilliant keeper."
David Beeby, United's general manager, said: "The club are sad to hear the news.
"He was a very popular player during his time with Scunthorpe United and our sympathies go out to his family."
Mr Jones signed for Scunthorpe from Cardiff City and made his debut in a 0-0 draw with Bristol Rovers, a day after his 23rd birthday.
Initially, he was second choice to regular custodian Ken Hardwick but he established himself as the regular number one during the 1959-60 season.
He went on to become a terrace favourite at the Old Show Ground, before leaving for Charlton Athletic in the summer of 1964.
He also played for Exeter City and Yeovil Town and was given a long service award by the Football Association of Wales in 2009.
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